Serves a Crowd

Soft and Chewy Oatmeal Bread

April  8, 2010
Author Notes

I learned this technique from a fellow named Jeff Basom, who was the chef at Bastyr University when I was a naturopathic student. I have baked bread before and since many times, and in recent months I've been enjoying the Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day method, but this recipe is still my favorite.

Making bread with with leftover cooked grains is a great way to use them up; you can make this recipe successfully with plain leftover rice, millet, quinoa, etc. —WinnieAb

  • Serves 2 loaves
  • Oatmeal Starter
  • 2 cups cooked oatmeal
  • 2 cups water (or 1 cup water and 1 cup milk)
  • 1/4 cup softened butter
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon dry yeast
  • 1 cup all-purpose unbleached flour or whole wheat flour
  • Bread
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • approx. 6 cups all purpose unbleached flour or whole wheat flour
In This Recipe
  1. Oatmeal Starter
  2. Mix oatmeal, water, milk (if using), butter, salt, and yeast in a blender and then pour into a large bowl. Add 1 cup of flour and mix well: it should resemble a thick gruel. Cover the bowl with a damp towel or plastic wrap and leave for 12-24 hours at room temperature to ferment.
  1. Bread
  2. After the 12-24 hours, mix the sweetener into the starter dough. Stir in 2 cups white or wheat flour.
  3. As you add the remaining 4 cups of flour (more or less), the mixture will become too difficult to stir by hand, so you can either mix it in Kitchen Aid mixer with the bread dough hook, or you can use your hands to knead in the flour in the bowl. When most of the flour has been incorporated and the dough is no longer sticky, transfer it to a floured surface.
  4. Knead the bread dough for 10-15 minutes more or until dough is soft and springy. Wash and dry your mixing bowl and spread with a little butter. Place dough into the bowl, cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
  5. When dough has risen sufficiently, punch it down. Remove from the mixing bowl and divide the dough into two equal portions. Knead each ball a bit more and then place your dough into two bread pans, or shape as you like (I usually make mine into round/oval shapes) and place on lightly buttered cookie sheet. If you want to make smaller loaves instead, go ahead. If you make 2 loaves, they will be pretty large, so you could make 3-4 smaller ones instead.
  6. It will take about 45-60 minutes for the loaves to approximately double in size, so you should preheat the oven to 350°F. about 30 minutes into this rising.
  7. Slash the top of each loaf 3-4 times with a serrated knife, and then place in the oven. Bake anywhere from 25-50 minutes, depending on the size and shape of your loaves. The bread is done when golden brown and a tap on the bottom of each loaf makes a hollow noise.
  8. At this point, it's probably very hard to wait, but allow your bread to cool on a wire rack for about 30 minutes before slicing. If you baked your loaves in bread pans, allow them to cool in the pans for 5 minutes before transferring to the rack. If you don't wait for the bread to cool, it will have a gummy texture when you slice it, and you'll probably end up ruining the lovely appearance of your loaves, so do try to be patient!

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I grew up in a restaurant family (my parents owned the now closed Quilted Giraffe in NYC) and I've always loved to cook. My interest in the connection between food and health led me to pursue a graduate degree in naturopathic medicine. I don't practice medicine anymore; I have a blog called Healthy Green Kitchen that I started in May of 2009 and I wrote a book called One Simple Change that will be published in January, 2014. I live in upstate New York with my family and many pets.